Old Believers

Altorthodoxe (frequent Old Believers ) is a collective term for religious movements and groups within the Russian Orthodox tradition, from about 1666 to 1667 broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church and United were finally separated completely from her. The Old Believers opposed the reforms of Patriarch Nikon, the Reformed from 1652 texts and rites of the Russian Orthodox church services, in order to align Greek-Byzantine, South Slavic and common in the area of ​​present-day Ukraine texts and rites. The protest was combined with an existing idea in certain circles about the impending end of the world and the reign of the Antichrist. Thus, the Orthodox Church and the State Office associated with this was equated in the aftermath of the most radical elements of the Old Believers with the reign of the Antichrist.

In tsarist Russia pursued, the Old Believers settled mainly in the peripheral areas of the Russian Empire or abroad and formed a plurality of subsets; The most important distinguishing features are altorthodoxe communities with priests ( Popowzen ) and those without a priest ( Bespopowzen ). The Old Believers are now represented by two churches with episcopal and priestly structure and a church of priests lots in Russia, including numerous communities come abroad.

In the Russian encyclopedic usage, the Old Believers are called Old Ritualists (Russian старообрядцы ), another name is Altorthodoxe (Russian древлеправославные ). For a long time the Old Believers were in their own country of the Great Church (later the official church ) and government pejorative Raskolniki (Russian раскольники " split-off " ) called. They do not consider themselves as " split-off ", but as keepers of original Russian Orthodox tradition against heretical developments in the Great Church.

Those Old Ritualists, who have assumed since the end of the 18th century again while keeping their rite of the hierarchy of the ( Orthodox, isolated Catholic- Uniate ) Church United, hot Jedinowerzy ( " Eingläubige ").

  • 5.1 Literature
  • 5.2 Sound
  • 7.1 Non-fiction
  • 7.2 Fiction
  • 8.1 generally
  • 8.2 faiths

History and schism

Initiated in 1652 by the then Patriarch Nikon, the first reform of the Russian rite. It was alleged that the Russian rite would be waived as a result of errors when copying the church records from the original Greek text and rite. This position served for Nikon and his supporters as a justification to carry out church reforms. Those who challenged the legality of these revisions and tried to prove that the Russian rite had not changed since the 10th century and thus by and by be orthodox, were occupied on the council from 1666 to 1667 with the anathema.

These events led to a schism. Since then, the Old Believers exist separately from the mainstream church. Opponents of the church reforms were pursued, and tens of thousands were executed. In order to escape persecution by the authorities, the Old Believers moved back often to remote areas of the Russian Empire or abroad and formed their own communities. Only in the middle of the 18th century took from the persecutions, it remained many discriminatory laws. Thus, the Old Believers continued to have no civil rights. In 1905 the position of the Old Believers was legal.

In the second half of the 19th century, scientists of the Imperial Academy of Sciences found that the old Russian rite actually not deviated from the altbyzantinischen rite, but that the Greek rite was gradually changed under the influence of various factors in the 13th and 14th centuries. This process explained the difference between the Russian and Greek rite mid-17th century. When the evaluators, it was among other things the professors A. Dmitriyevsky, E. Golubinski of the Moscow Theological Academy, and N. Kapterew and A. Kartashov. 1971 eliminated the United Church of Moscow Patriarchate to the ban on the ancient Russian rite.

The best known representative and one of the founders of the Old Believers is the Protopope Avvakum whose autobiography is an important monument of Russian literature of the 17th century.

The most significant changes in liturgy

The following changes in the liturgy Nikon nominated by the Old Believers as the most serious:

These different spellings come in literature (eg the formulation of the doxology ) and church singing.

Especially in the past, the position of the Old Believers was not uncommon as a rigid, fanatical belief in rituals represented who had a meaningless suffering of tens of thousands consequence. It was claimed that the reforms relate only to external, ritual aspects and the Old Believers were not able to distinguish minor details of the main things. Of the Old Believers was argued, however, that the beliefs are not to be separated from the mold. Many believers at that time were of the opinion that with the curse of the old rite and the ancient texts truths of faith were touched, dressed in certain rituals from the earliest centuries, and thus the belief was drained of its essence. To maintain a microclimate in which a man can save his soul, was not only obeying the commandments of Christ required, but also a careful preservation of the Church's tradition, which carries spiritual forces and spiritual experience of many centuries in themselves, their shapes, although externally, but not arbitrary or accidental are.

Directions within the Old Believers

Within the Old Believers, there was first the basic split between the Priestly (Russian поповцы popowzy ) and the priest lots (Russian беспоповцы bespopowzy ). The priestly Old Believers were the most conservative and moderate opposition, they strove for a continuation of the Church's life as it had existed up to the reforms. They accepted priests from the official church, who wanted to join them, and so were able to acquire for themselves priests, and thus to keep the sacraments. The churches of the priestly Old Believers soft from the theological point not on the Orthodox faith.

The theology of the priests lots is characterized by an anticlerical and apocalyptic mood. The priests lots assert that the Antichrist has already come into the world, not physically, but " in the spirit ", and the true Church no longer existed on earth. They believe, therefore, that there is no valid priesthood more, and therefore no longer celebrate the Eucharist. They reject the orthodox church hierarchy and its affiliated state because these are considered as instruments of the Antichrist.

Current situation

Priestly Old Believers

The priestly Old Believers comprise two separate hierarchies: the hierarchy of the Old Believers Belaya Krinitsa and the hierarchy of Novozybkov. The following eparchies there is in these two churches:

  • The Russian Orthodox altritualistische Church (Russian Русская православная старообрядческая церковь ), also hierarchy of Belaya Krinitsa, has twelve dioceses, eleven of which are located on the territory of the former Soviet Union, one is located in Germany: Moscow ( seat of the metropolitans ), Kiev and Ukraine, Kishinev and Moldova, Novosibirsk and Siberia, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Saint Petersburg, Tver, Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir, Kazan Vyatka, Don and Caucasus, Urals, Far East. The church had in 2004 146 local churches and a monastery. This church has in 1846 the ecclesiastical hierarchy completely restored, as the Greek bishop Ambrose joined them. Since 1940 ( after the division of Bukovina ) the seat is located in Brăila, where still lives a significant minority lipowanische.
  • The Russian Altorthodoxe Church (Russian Русская Древлеправославная Церковь ), also hierarchy of Novozybkov: This church has its hierarchy in the twenties of the 20th century also restored and is led by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, it currently has in addition to the patriarchs four bishops in the eparchies: Belarus and Ukraine, Siberia, Volga, Zion and Western Europe. The church has two women and a male monastery. In 2004 it belonged to 74 communities.

Priest Lose Old Believers

Within the Old Believers without priests, there are many directions:

  • Pomorzy or Danilowzy: They rejected originally from the marriage and the prayer for the Tsar. Nowadays this direction as Altorthodoxe Pomorische Church (Russian Древлеправославная Поморская Церковь ) is organized. In 2004 the church had 42 congregations. You agree to the marriage.
  • Staropomorzy ( " Altpomoren " ): They reject marriage.
  • Fedossejewzy ( "Society of Christian Old Believers of old unmarried denomination of Pomorje ", from 1690 to today ): They reject the marriage and lead an ascetic monastic life similar.
  • Beguny
  • Netowzy or Spassowo soglassije: The name is derived from the Russian word net ( "no"). They deny the possibility of sacraments, the priesthood and community celebrations in a church building.
  • Phil Ipponen: Founded by a monk Philip, this branch had spread to East Prussia.
  • Tschassowennyje (of Tschassownja, " chapel " )

Old Believers in the Russian culture